Carmella’s theory was actually two. The first, a very a simple one: by experimenting with other people, all varied in personalities, ages, and other demographics, she would be better prepared to navigate a lasting relationship with anyone. She felt the same for Nick. Carmella’s plan was to sleep with Mr. Hunter, Ryan, and see how it felt and what she could do better or differently. Then monitor his behavior after they have sex to observe and catalog what different reactions there could be after sex. All so she could be the best possible lover and life partner imaginable. Nick thought of choke slamming her against the wall again. His sister, for all of her brains, had to be the dumbest person if she thought he would not only condone, but help ensure, that she would fuck their substitute teacher. A man she barely knew and who had to be twenty years older than her. Carmella was his sister, his friend, his confidant, and the person he was most connected to in this world. They knew each other inside and out. And now, Carmella decided to have someone else enter her willy nilly.

Nick couldn’t stomach his rage. Standing up from his chair in Carmella’s room he walked over to her window ledge and it’s surrounding birdcage. Opening up her window and reaching out he grabbed a Piping Plover who had strayed too far from the beach. Nick, ignoring Carmella as she reminded him that they were still in the testing phase, squeezed the bird’s neck until its body gave way. Taking his knife from his pocket, Nick sat back down in his chair and began pulling back the flesh of the bird. Carmella re-explained her position and justified her theory. Kneeling in front of Nick’s chair Carmella rested her head on his lap as he began to cut chunks of the bird’s muscle, leading them into his mouth with his knife, the same way an oldtimer might peel and cut and apple. Nick rubbed the blood of the bird into his sister’s hair, licking it off his finger.

Carmella’s second theory was not as simple, though much more straightforward: by collecting DNA from the men and women they were experimenting with, Carmella would be able to run tests on their genetic makeup – a much safer way for her brother to consume raw flesh and muscle. By having the physical relationship, they would be able to create situations that would be advantageous to obtaining more of the person than just their physical touch or emotional attachment. Nick watched as Carmella raised her eyebrow. She hadn’t been just trying to sleep around, she had a plan with a purpose and the potential to be fun.

Looking up at him, Carmella could see Nick processing her proposal. That or he was really enjoying the Piping Plover, Carmella wasn’t sure. She nuzzled her head against his hand. Nick tossed the bird into the trash can under Carmella’s desk and his knife on top. Suddenly he grabbed his sister, pulling her up, spinning her around and putting down her on top of his lap. Carmella wiggled across his lap until she sat comfortably and upright looking into her brother’s stonewall face. Smears of blood were scattered across his lips and cheek. His dark blue eyes were made darker by his dilated pupils. Carmella had given Nick so much, of course he would give her whatever she wanted. Even if it seemed counterintuitive, he trusted her process. More than anything he knew whatever she did, Carmella did it with him in mind. With that being true, how could it not be the right move. Carmella leaned forward throwing her arms tightly around her brother. His arms wrapped around her waist, and through her sea of hair grabbing on around her neck. They stayed like that for moments – thousands of thoughts coursing through their bodies with each one’s body sending its own impulses to the other. There was one condition though, for the sake of true scientific method they would have to have the same baseline for comparison. There also had to be specific parameters set when it came to other people.

Nick had thought of this moment countless times throughout his life. The first few times he had this feeling it wasn’t as direct or forceful as it later became. One of the first times had been when Carmella found Nick picking through the chest cavity of their stray cat. It wasn’t really their cat, but Nick and Carmella had fed it every day, brought it water and milk, and gave it the occasional cuddle when it permitted. Then one day it died. Nick had been incredibly hungry. Nothing had satiated him for weeks, and while he didn’t know what it was he had been craving his eyes lit up as the cat’s had has died out. Nick had been gnawing on a small rib when Carmella came out. His other senses alerted him to her presences before he turned to face her. Tossing the rib back in the body and brushing off his face, Nick turned around, staring intently at his sister’s bare feet. Nick explained what he had been doing, Carmella explained why it wasn’t safe. She wanted to know if it was the blood or the meat he craved the most. His shoulders gave him her answer. Carmella nodded her head and began working on a plan. They were eleven or twelve at the time.

Later that evening Carmella had crossed the hall into Nick’s room. She had gotten into his bed and laid next to him. Nick opened his eyes, immediately concerned by the look of fear on his sister’s face. She put her one hand over his mouth and raised her others high over their bodies until the pierced the light coming in from the window. Nick’s eyes bulged as he saw the blood coating them. Carmella pressed her hand harder against his mouth and gently pointed down to the lower half of her body. Carmella watched with concern as her brother’s eyes opened even further, then as they softened with understanding. But he didn’t quite understand his sister’s idea, not just at that moment yet. Carmella removed her hand from Nick’s face, slowly pushing her bloodied fingers closer to, against, and into his mouth. Nick cleaned them – the look of joy returning to his eyes even more than when he had been picking on dead cat’s ribs. As Nick burrowed his way under the covers his hunger echoed in his stomach. His sister found a way for him to get exactly what he wanted. Or at least what he wanted in a safe, reasonable manner. Nick’s heart new love on a new level that night, as his stomach new satiation.

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